December 28, 2011

Clarification on Previous Entry

By the way, Steve asked me to make it clear that I was joking about people feeling sorry for us and donating stuff to decorate Autumn's room. Well, he didn't actually say to change the entry, it was more the aghast look on his face when I told him what I wrote that made me think I should change it.

I think what I really want is the giant blue genie from Aladdin (the really funny one played by Robin Williams) to come in and make the room pretty and girly. But, he'd probably overdo it and make it too sparkly and Arabian princessy and I'd feel like I wasted one of my wishes. In reality, my critical nature wouldn't be happy or appreciative of anything the genie did b/c I didn't create it myself. So, instead, we're off to the thrift store this week to see what donations the Goodwill Genie left for me to create with. :-)
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December 27, 2011

New Room and Care Package

I'm doing my absolute favorite thing in the world right now. Procrastinating. Why would I do something that matters when I could be having fun redesigning our blog? Besides, the things that "matter" today include: 1) working out, 2) laundry, and 3) cleaning the toilets.

We spent all day yesterday moving our guest room downstairs to where our "school room" used to be - really it was just a storage room b/c we hadn't done "school" in there for over a year and it was piled high with things we didn't know what to do with. The old guest room is now Autumn's room. It's pretty bare-bones right now - toddler bed, dresser, lamp, little table and chairs. I'm including pictures of her room so everyone will feel sorry for us and give us stuff to decorate. If anyone has any girl's clothes (size 2T-4T) they want to get rid of, we'd be happy to take them off your hands.

We're sending a care package to her today via Red Thread China. The package includes:
-camera (for nannies to take pictures of her - hopefully)
-candy for nannies/workers
-letter we write translated into Chinese
- a doll
-a donation of clothing to the orphanage
-a framed photo of her new family (Steve just told me he needs her to see a picture of her bald-headed Baba before he shows up and scares the crap out of her) :-)
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December 20, 2011

Next Step Done

We completed the next step in the process. Our i800 form was overnighted to USCIS (US Immigration) and received today. This form is to determine if Autumn is adoptable (which she should be). The i800 is not to be confused with the i800a that we completed a while back - that determined our suitability to adopt any child. I don't know if this process could be any more confusing.

Next Steps:
1. USCIS double-checks our paperwork and forwards to NBC (not the broadcasting network like I thought - I can't remember what it stands for). (1 week)
2. NBC approves our i800 application and sends it to NVC (stands for something-Visa-something). (1 week)
3. NVC will cable our file to the US Embassy in Guangzhou, China (1-3 days).
4. NVC will send us a .pdf file to forward to our agency so they can begin processing the article 5. What's an Article 5 you ask? I don't know! I just re-read everything in my notes and it seems to be some kind of letter issued by the US Embassy. (2 weeks)
6. Wait for Travel Approval (TA) (2-4 weeks)
7. Plan the trip (2 weeks)

So, best case scenario: 2 months till travel! Yay! Crap, we have to get her room ready!
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December 15, 2011

Our LOA arrived!

Our LOA (letter of acceptance) arrived yesterday. I thought we wouldn't hear anything until after Christmas/New Year. We could travel as early as 2-3 months. So I spent four hours working on paperwork yesterday - which I wish I had done a month ago b/c now I'm up to my ears in Christmas. Today, we'll sign the LOA and send it back to our agency and they'll send it to China saying we accept the referral.

I'm also filling out some other immigrant visa paperwork. I have no idea why. I don't understand any of this paperwork. I just do what the agency tells me to do and then I ask them a bunch of question b/c I don't understand the forms. Thank goodness I have somebody holding my hand AND that my friend Christy is a step ahead of me and knows what she's doing.
Gosh, all this paperwork keeps me humble. I can't keep the I-800 straight from the I-800a, the I-797 and the DS-230. Don't get me started on the 171-H. And of course most of this has changed since the last two adoptions. There used to be an I-600 or something in there, but I don't think I had to fill that out this time. Maybe. I think. Friends who are in the early stages of adoption throw out these form numbers and ask me when I got approvals back for each or when I got my fingerprint appointments. I try to pretend like I understand what they're asking, but it's hard to hide a glazed over blank stare.

And then there are all the abbreviations. DTC (date to China), LID (log-in date), PA (pre-approval - pre-approval for what?!), LOA (letter of acceptance - but really the form states "Letter Seeking Confirmation," so why is it not LSC???), and TA (no, it's not dirty - it's travel approval). And since the last adoption they've added: NBC - which is not National Broadcasting Company - I thought we were gonna be on TV. It stands for National Benefits Center - not to be confused with NVC which is National Visa Center and has something to do with a cable - again I thought it had something to do with TV.

Then there are all the cute abbreviations that the yahoo groups/bloggers use, like: dd (dear daughter), dh (dear husband), ds (dear son), sn (special needs). I have to google them all the time to figure out what people are saying. My dh and I are taking our 2 dd's to pick up our sn ds after we get our TA, but before PP.

So if you see me this holiday season speak in English - or maybe even Chinese - I've been Rosetta Stoning. Gotta go, my 7yo ds just woke up and wants to sit on my LAP.
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